The Beginning Of Something Special
Just as Elle Macpherson is known as ‘the body’, British supermodel turned actress, Cara Delevingne, could just as easily carry the name ‘the brows’.
Known for her big, bushy eyebrows, when Cara made her catwalk debut in 2011, she brought a new look to the modelling game. And you could almost hear the industry breathe a sigh of relief.
Speaking about the facial feature that saw her become the modelling world’s ‘it’ girl almost overnight, Cara told The Sunday Times: “They just grow. I’m lucky with the shape – I inherited it from my grandmother. I pluck a few, but I don’t shape them. I usually don’t let other people touch them, just in case. Of course, they’re insured for millions… I’m joking.”
Cara made her official break-through into the high-fashion world when she featured in Burberry’s show as the face of their 2011 spring/summer campaign, although she had signed to Storm Model Management years before. By her last turn on the Burberry catwalk, the industry was screaming for more. And, just one year later, she had gone from simply being just another model to being highly sought-after by designers the world over.
What followed was a whirlwind of designers – Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Fendi, Moschino, Nina Ricci, Dolce & Gabbana – all yearning for the model to wear their clothes. And magazines – Vogue, Elle, W, Marie Claire – splashed her on their covers.
Cara spent four years being the centre of the industry’s attention. It was a time period which saw Cara most notably walk all of the ‘big four’ fashion weeks, (Paris, Milan, London and New York), win ‘Model of the Year’ at the British Fashion Awards, form an unbreakable friendship with fashion mogul, Karl Lagerfeld, and was given her Victoria’s Secret wings – an accomplishment that many models strive for.
"I always say, modelling is something I do, whereas acting feels more like what I [am]."
THE END OF AN ERA…
Cara has always held a torch for acting – she actually made her on-screen debut in 2012 alongside Hollywood heavyweights, Keira Knightley, and Jude Law, in 2012’s Anna Karenina. The part may have been small, but it was enough to whet her appetite for the profession and reassure her of her gut instinct – she was born to act.
Always candid about her dreams, Cara told Glamour magazine: “I always say, modelling is something I do, whereas acting feels more like what I [am].”
And, with that, in 2015, without a huge media hurrah, or emotional farewell, she parted ways with modelling to pursue, more seriously, her acting career.
Though the jump from catwalk to cinema could have backfired, as it has done for the many models that have tried before her, her leading role as Margo Roth Spiegelman in 2015’s Paper Towns proved to the industry that they should expect big things from Cara.
She took away three awards in her first year of acting including the Elle Style Awards’ ‘breakthrough actress’ award, and two Teen Choice awards for her performance in Paper Towns which included ‘Breakout Star’ and ‘Choice Summer Movie Star’.
Her most exciting, yet challenging, role came in 2016 when she was cast as the Enchantress in the on-screen reimagining of DC Comic’s Suicide Squad. With DC Comic fans notoriously hard to please, the pressure was on for Cara, and her fellow castmates Will Smith, Jared Leto and Margot Robbie, to deliver.
While the film, and indeed Cara, did not please die-hard DC Comic fans, Cara did not let the negative reviews knock her confidence. Instead, she used the negativity to fuel her fire, and she fiercely returned to the fantasy genre just one year later, as the protagonist in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
Since the world was first introduced to Cara, she has made no attempts to hide the real her, particularly when it comes to her sexuality. Cara is openly bisexual, and on this matter has always been an open book.
In an interview with Rolling Stone she was asked whether she identified as gay or straight and she responded: “I don’t think about those words. I believe in gender fluidity and sexual fluidity. I don’t really identify as anything... I think you can fall in love with anybody.”
She later had a frank discussion with Vogue about the same topic and delved a little deeper into her personal experiences with coming to terms with her sexuality: “It took me a long time to accept the idea [of being attracted to women]—until I first fell in love with a girl at 20 and recognized that I had to accept it... we’re all liquid. We change, we grow.”
After a string of relationships, including with One Direction star Harry Styles and fellow actress Michelle Rodriguez, in 2015 Cara made a public debut with her then girlfriend, American musician, Annie Clarke aka St. Vincent. Although the relationship was short, it was Cara’s first serious relationship, saying: “I’m completely in love. Before, I didn’t know what love was - real love. I didn’t understand the depth of it. I always used to think it was you against the world […] now I know the meaning of life is love. Whether that’s for yourself or for the world or your partner.”
After nearly a year away from the screen, Cara is set to return later this year in the film Life in a Year. The role, where she stars alongside Jaden Smith, will be Cara’s most hard-hitting and poignant yet as she steps into the shoes of a teenage cancer patient. And, she has further proven her commitment to her art, with this film in particular, having shaved her head for the role.
With a new film set for release and currently filming a new TV show, for Amazon, Carnival Row, 2018 in Cara’s own words is sure to be “a glitterier one”.